pronounced: ma-ran-TAY-see-eye

the arrowroot family

The name of the type genus Maranta commemorates a mid-16th century Venetian botanist, Bartolommeo Maranti. The plants of this family usually have starchy underground rhizomes or tubers. The leaves are arranged in 2 rows, the petioles with a sheathing base. The leaf blades may be narrow or broad, and they have pinnate veins running parallel to the midrib. The petiole may be winged, and swollen into a pulvinus at the base. The inflorescence is a spike or a panicle, enclosed by spathe-like bracts. The flowers are bisexual, small and often inconspicuous. The fruit may be fleshy, or a loculicidal capsule.


Photograph courtesy of the Consejo Belize Web Site